Bafana Bafana beat World Champions!!

South Africa always seem to reserve their best performance in friendly matches, last night beating European and World champions, Spain for the first time in four meetings. The game may have given them plenty of confidence for future matches but they need to maintain consistency, start winning when it matters the most and regularly keep up tonight’s performance in future matches to make headway in the African Cup of Nations in 2014. While there has been lots of motivation from Gordon Igesund in their tactical planning, not much has changed from the way South Africa has played since the 2010 World Cup. The players are full of enthusiasm and it was pleasing to note a very big improvement in their work rate. They weren’t holding onto the ball like they have done in the past. 

With Dean Furman playing a prominent role in the mid field, South Africa needs two other strong midfield players to supplement his brilliance. What Bafana Bafana are failing to do, is to control the tempo of the match, every time they won possession of the ball they continued to play “hurried” football instead of maintaining the composure shown by the Spanish team and it was this composure that won the Spanish team the European Cup in 2009 followed by the world cup in 2010. 

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund wasn’t too pleased with a substitution of Reina for Valdes made in the second half by Spain, his anger stemmed from the fact that Spain had made a seventh change where FIFA rules clearly stipulate a maximum of 6 replacements are allowed in a match.

Although Spain lost the match, they performed brilliantly in terms of ball possession, running of the ball and players running for each other. This is something that South Africa need to seriously step up if they wish to present any challenge in the forthcoming African Cup before they can make a very determined effort to ever get back onto the world stage.

Substitute Siphiwe Tshabalala still continues to play for “Siphiwe Tshabalala” and not for Bafana Bafana and this was noticeable because he was practically the only South African player to hang onto the ball for longer periods than he should. Bernard Parker who scored his 19th international goal must be complemented for his goal prowess because it was a very clever ball; his timing was immaculate in connecting the final touch that won Bafana Bafana the match.

 It’s a pity that the stadium wasn’t filled to capacity, crowd support is critical in picking up the teams moral and in my opinion could have been a contributing factor to a 2nd goal. It was good for a change to see an overseas team playing with a full international squad with a notable absentee of Xavi and Fernandes Torres who did not make the tour because of an injury. Although Spain had far greater ball possession, South Africa missed more scoring chances. 

While this match should be a motivator for future South African fixtures, they definitely need to improve their tactical inter-passing, goal scoring opportunities and a more supporting midfield for Furman.

South Africa:
Itumeleng Khune, Thabo Matlaba, Anele Ngcongca, Thabo Nthethe, Bongani Khumalo, Dean Furman, Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa, Bernard Parker, Daylon Claasen, Tokelo Rantie

Iker Casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Raul Albiol, Sergio Ramos, Nacho Monreal, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, Pedro, Fernando Llorente, David Villa

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About Sagren moodley

This is my personal space where I geek out on all the stuff that I Love, from technology and entertainment, sports and politics to food and photography. I'm also a bodybuilding, parkour, martial artist..............wannabe. Click on my Mr. Burns face if you want to get in contact with me about writing/photography/Personal training.